If you are welcoming friends and family into your home or a guest annexe this summer, you will want to make sure they are happy and comfortable in their accommodation during their stay. Whether your guest room is a spare room in your house that serves multiple purposes, or a bespoke annexe or garden room, some thoughtful touches can go a long way.
Sleeping in an unfamiliar room can be a challenge at the best of times, and if your guests feel like they are crammed into a forgotten corner of the house, this can make their stay that little bit less enjoyable. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get your spare room guest ready.
Give the room a good spring clean
If the room is used more as a general storage space for most of the time, it may have become cluttered, and acquired a slightly musty smell which you don’t notice until you try to sleep in it! Therefore, a good tidy up and spring clean will be much appreciated by your guest.
A few days in advance, leave the window open as much as possible to change the air, and dust and wipe down all the surfaces, and vacuum or sweep the floor. If you use the room for storage, try and temporarily stow as many of the items as you can out of sight or in other areas of the house, so that your guest feels as though they have their own space.
Pay attention to the lighting
Sleeping in a strange room can be hard, especially for people who need total darkness to help them drop off. Investing in some blackout curtains can help to keep the light summer dawns filtered out, or any artificial outside lighting. Good quality curtains can also help to reduce noise pollution, and will keep the room cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
If the window is overlooked, you could also add some net curtains for extra privacy during the day. They are also a great way to soften a large window.
Make sure that you guest has a reading lamp by their bedside table for safety and convenience, as well as an adequate amount of overhead light.
Make sure the bedding is comfortable
The mattress should be of reasonable quality and of medium firmness, to accommodate most types of sleeper. Choose good quality bedding in natural cotton or linen to help your guest maintain a comfortable body temperature during the night, and use mattress and pillow protectors to help preserve the freshness of your bedding for other guests.
Give your guests the option of adding extra blankets, pillows, and throws, as everyone prefers to sleep at different temperatures. Some well-chosen cushions can also put the finishing touches on the décor of your guest room, making it feel welcoming and homely.
Add those welcoming touches
Lay out a fresh set of towels for your guest on the bed, and a few spare toiletry items. Small details, such as a vase of fresh flowers, a scented candle, and a charging point for electronic devices, can really make your guest feel at home.
If possible, clear out some drawer and wardrobe space to allow your guest to unpack their things and not have to live out of a suitcase during their stay. If space is at a premium, consider adding a set of wall mounted hooks or shelves, or under-bed storage boxes.
Try and leave surfaces clear for your guest to put their things on where ever possible, apart from one or two decorative items which personalise the room. Make sure there is a mirror in the room so your guest doesn’t have to make do with the bathroom mirror if possible. Some wall art will also help to create an ambience and avoid that ‘afterthought’ feeling.
The best approach is to keep the décor simple but tasteful, as you want it to reflect the rest of your home, but not feel overly personalised. It can be best to stick to a calming neutral palette for the areas that are difficult to change, such as the walls and flooring, and add touches of pattern and colour with bedding, curtains, and cushions.
Choose multi-purpose furniture
If your guest room doubles as a home office, it may not be practical to have a full-size bed permanently installed. You could consider installing a foldaway bed, that is neatly stowed away in a wall recess when not in use. A sofa bed, or a desk that can also function as a dressing table, can help you make the best use of space in a small room.